Thursday, April 7, 2011


You know it's a matter of time before I come to this.  Durian was the obvious choice for 'D' but it had to give way to Dusty.  Then this idea hit me which allows me to still talk about my favorite fruit, under 'F' instead.

What is better than Durian?  Fermented Durian of course!  That's not a direct comparison though.  It's kinda like:  You like to eat grapes but you enjoy the wine better.  Except in this case it's reversed:  The main staple is fresh Durian, but fermented it'll make great accompaniment to your meals of steamed rice and other dishes.

Fermented Durian is known locally and in Indonesia as Tempoyak.  It is added to sambal chilli or pounded chilly paste and mixed with your rice and eaten with fish (normally salted fish), ulam (salads of raw cucumbers and other shoots).  It improves the taste of the food and your appetite a hundred folds.

How to make Tempoyak:

  1. Peel flesh of durian (normally left-over or overripe durians)
  2. Add half a teaspoon of salt for every 500g durian flesh and mix thoroughly
  3. Spoon into a screw cap glass jar, and leave aside at room temperature (25-30 degrees C) to ferment for two to three days.  Transfer to the fridge after it has fermented.
Is there any easier recipe than this?  It will keep for a month in the fridge provided you start with clean hands and utensil, and use a sterilized jar.

Tempoyak is also used in cooking fish dishes like gulai tempoyak ikan patin (soup of Patin fish - a type of catfish), in curries and seafood.

I've found a couple of videos that depict the making of Tempoyak and the fish dish (with thanks to Malaysian Recipes and janelgrace).  Enjoy!


L'Aussie said...

Hey Grandpa, that was a sweet way to get durian and Dusty in! I didn't know you fermented it. Sounds yum.


L'Aussie Travel A - Z Challenge Posts F is for Finland

Akelamalu said...

It's a very versatile fruit isn't it?

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

I still need to get my hands on regular durian! Coming to your farm , grandpa!

Carole Anne Carr said...

LOVE trying new foods, think I'd enjoy those.

Joylene Butler said...

Never heard of this, but I'm game. Is it sour or sweet?

NancyDe said...

There is a honor pay fruit stand in Hilo that always has at least three giant durians on the table. I pass it every day and think of you :). It is a terrible place to stop, though, so I haven't gone in and bought.

Wan Sharif said...

It is that time already..
I am still trying to find a weekend day to go and visit you.. this weekend seems rather tight.. can only reach TM at about 3 pm and have to be back in Ampang before 8 pm.. do think such a short visit is OK with you.. will call you if this can be made to materialise..
Sunday is a whole F1 day for me.. psst my boss give me a ticket to go see F1..

klahanie said...

Hey Grandpa,
What the 'F'? :)
My Friend, you did come up with a posting for F. I knew you would and you didn't disappoint. Very informative and a much better story, I'm sure than a posting on 'Frogs' :)
And as you continue through the alphabet, 'G', I wonder what's next?
Take care, my friend.
In kindness and respect, Gary.

Grandpa said...

L'Aussie - Denise, fermenting is a way of treating surplus fruits so nothing goes to waste;

Akelamalu - yes it is indeed. It can be turned into 'durian cake' or lempok, and blended into 'durian ice-cream' too!

Her highness - and here I am waiting for you!

Grandpa said...

Carole - the fruit on its own is delicious, and as an additive it improves the taste of whatever you are eating - isn't that nice?

Joylene - you are welcome to try - it is sweetish, saltish, and sourish!

NancyDe - I wonder why it is a terrible place to stop - would a nose peg help?

Grandpa said...

Wan - it is ok with me, the question is whether it is ok with you, a flying visit like that.
You have something in common with my second son (Irfan's father) - he is a racer and trainer for BMW, so never misses F1.

klahanie - Hi Gary, my mind has a way of coming to my rescue at the last minute, thank goodness.
Come by and see what's cooking for 'G' eh.
Have a peaceful weekend my friend.

Alison Stevens said...

Ooh, that sounds yummy! Something new to try. But not in Berlin; too exotic! :)

Grandpa said...

Alison - I don't think so! And we don't recommend durian with beer anyway :)

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of it but it sounds really yummy. Looks neat. :)

Grandpa said...

Hi Nikki, actually very few people outside of Malaysia and Indonesia, and may be Thailand have heard of it.

Martha (MM) said...

That's very interesting! I've never heard of it either but sure would love to try it!

Anonymous said...

This is a first for me. I didn't know this food existed. I just learned something new today. Thanks!

Grandpa said...

Martha - you'll hav eto get hold of some durians first.. :)

Stephen - you are welcome.